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Capillary characterization of fibrous reinforcement and optimization of injection strategy in resin transfer molding

Philippe Causse, Christophe Ravey and François Trochu

Article (2018)

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Cite this document: Causse, P., Ravey, C. & Trochu, F. (2018). Capillary characterization of fibrous reinforcement and optimization of injection strategy in resin transfer molding. Journal of Composites Science, 2(2). doi:10.3390/jcs2020019
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Abstract

During composite manufacturing, minimizing the residual void content is a key issue to ensure optimal mechanical performance of final products. For injection processes such as Resin Transfer Molding (RTM), the impregnation velocity has a direct impact on void creation at the flow front by mechanical entrapment of air bubbles. Previous work proposed to study capillary imbibition in fibrous reinforcement to determine optimal filling conditions during practical manufacturing. The objective of this study is to investigate further this possibility. For that purpose, an improved experimental procedure is proposed to estimate the optimal impregnation velocity from capillary rise tests and understand its effect in parts of varying geometry. Capillary rise experiments were carried out with an enhanced experimental protocol, and a new post processing technique was evaluated to analyze the results. The position of the capillary flow front was then used to deduce the optimal impregnation velocity range based on the Lucas-Washburn flow model. A series of injections were also carried out with a laboratory scale RTM mold to study the influence of flow velocity on the residual void content. Results show that the prediction from capillary characterization is close to the optimal velocity value deduced from manufacturing experiments. The study also highlights the importance of void transport during processing and suggests that the injection strategy (i.e., flow rate history) and the mold configuration (i.e., divergent versus convergent flow) are important process parameters that may influence void content and cycle time.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Resin Transfer Molding; capillary rise; void content; optimal velocity

Open Access document in PolyPublie
Subjects: 2000 Science et technologie des matériaux > 2001 Structure, propriétés et essais des matériaux
2000 Science et technologie des matériaux > 2002 Transformation et fabrication des matériaux
2000 Science et technologie des matériaux > 2007 Matériaux composites
2100 Génie mécanique > 2100 Génie mécanique
Department: Département de génie mécanique
Research Center: CREPEC - Centre de recherche sur les systèmes polymères et composites à haute performance
Funders: CRSNG/NSERC, Fonds Québécois pour la Recherche sur la Nature et les Technologies, Canada Research Chairs, Canada Foundation for Innovation, Safran
Date Deposited: 09 Mar 2020 14:16
Last Modified: 10 Mar 2020 01:20
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/3559/
Document issued by the official publisher
Journal Title: Journal of Composites Science (vol. 2, no. 2)
Publisher: MDPI
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3390/jcs2020019

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